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2014 Ducati Monster vs KTM 1290 Super Duke

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

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2014 Ducati Monster 1200S Comparison Video
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In the 2014 Ducati Monster 1200 S Comparison Video the Italian firm’s all-new and top-of-the-line naked bike faces off against its Twin-cylinder foe from Austria.
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2014 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Comparison Video
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KTM ups the displacement with its giant 1301cc Twin-cylinder Super Duke. Will it be enough to dethrone the mighty Monster? Watch the 2014 KTM 1290 Super Duke R ABS Comparison Video.
When it comes to motorcycling rivalries— few are bigger than the feud between European brands Ducati and KTM. Although the Italians were the originator of the big displacement V-Twin street bike concept, over the years the Austrians have honed their own version of the torque-rich and highly charismatic engine configuration. This year both companies tweaked the format offering two all-new open-class machines that go nose-to-nose in MotoUSA's Naked Twin Streetfighter Shootout.

Perhaps the most iconic in terms of both design and nameplate is Ducati with its Monster 1200 S ($15,999). The 21-year-old Monster trades its traditional air-cooled L-Twin for a larger water-cooled 1198cc mill, which is sourced from Ducati’s previous 1098/1198-generation Superbike. The engine serves double-duty as an integral component of the main chassis matched to a tiny, minimalist steel front mainframe designed to reduce weight. Kitted with up-spec Ohlins suspension, and the Italian company’s well-developed traction control, ABS, and engine power modes, the new Monster is in a higher state of tune than ever.
Ducati's Monster may have a richer history, but the Orange crew looks to build upon its own legacy with the all-new Super Duke 1290 R ($16,999). It features a punched-out 1301cc version of its tried-and-true 65-degree LC8 V-Twin mounted inside an all-new steel-trellis type frame with long travel—at least for a street bike—suspension. Like Ducati, the Duke comes equipped with traction control, ABS, and three separate engine power maps. But are the electronics effective at reigning in the KTM’s new found muscle?

We found out by logging a couple hundred miles in the hills, valleys and city streets of Southern California. We also ventured to the track, spending an afternoon at Central California’s Buttonwillow Raceway circuit with the always-smiling girls and boys of Let’s Ride Trackdays. The track escapades help us cement thoughts about the Twins in terms of outright road capabilities. Afterwards we did our standard gamut of performance analytics to gauge the actual function of each motorcycle. We hoped to compare other redesigned naked bikes, including the new S1000R by BMW and Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS, but due to timing and our production schedule, our usual big Streetfighter test is being parceled amongst multiple tests. So dig in and learn what Twin you want to have under your roof. 

2014 Ducati Monster 1200S Comparo
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2014 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Comparo
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enzomedici   May 23, 2014 10:56 AM
KTM might be the better bike, but I would take the Ducati. The KTM looks too transformerish for me. Plus, good luck at your KTM dealer when something goes wrong and you are waiting a month for parts. Same things goes for the Tuono + MV Agusta.
MCUSA Bart   May 12, 2014 12:48 PM
Adam is currently evaluating the S1000R, Tuono V4, Z1000 and MV Agusta in a second Streetfighter Shootout. We tried to get them all into one gigantic master test... but logistics just didn't work out. Who knows, we may have to revisit the class later in the year too... Lots of great bikes in this segment!
jng1226   May 12, 2014 12:23 PM
@ Bart - not much of an issue, both reviewers misused the word in this video which is why I mentioned it this particular time. In any event, this is a great review, as you guys always do. I've been a fan of the site and your reviews and comparisons for a long time now. I respect Adam's opinions and riding debriefs as he is very clear in his subjective evaluations. That and he is only 4 seconds a lap or so off of Steve Rapp and Jason Pridmore, he knows what he's talking about! Looking forward to the S1000R and other streetfighter reviews. I hope you can snare an MV Agusta Dragster 800 as I'm actually considering that one and want to see how it compares to these and a Tuono V4 if could include that as well.
800ken   May 11, 2014 10:07 AM
For me the Ducati was a clear choice -- a simple upgrade to Rizoma 50mm bars satisfies the riding position issue. If I were an adrenaline junkies will most likely enjoy the KTM more; less experienced riders will clearly find the Ducati a fantastic riding experience. The stock mirrors vibrate a little until the engine smooths out at about 4000-5000 RPM; and the see-thru clutch & brake reservoirs and gigantic turn signal indicators leave a lot to be desired aesthetically; again -- Rizoma has the cure for a little extra cash. The lower seat position helps with riding position being more upright and you feel more like your nestled inside the bike than on it, however my 6'1" frame left my legs a little cramped in either seat position. I live in LA - where it's better to look good than it is to feel good, that makes the Ducati a clear winner...
inthemachine   May 10, 2014 06:12 PM
Seriously? You did this compro instead of the Super Duke and the S1000R. This is really a disappointment.
wildpig   May 10, 2014 05:45 AM
you guys sound like a buncha bmw idiots ARGUING over teckno crap that has ZERO MEANING in the real world...... although I grant you either bike is superior and preferable to ANY bmw PRODUCED.
MCUSA Bart   May 9, 2014 10:25 AM
Damping and dampening are commonly confused terms. MotoUSA does its best to ensure that the correct form is used during our editing process. In regards to the videos, it is not unusual to mispronounce or use a technically incorrect word while talking on camera. But the context usually makes it perfectly clear what they mean. I think that is the case in this regard.
jng1226   May 8, 2014 08:52 PM
There's no "evolution" here with hydraulic damping. I merely used the dictionary entries to illustrate the clear differences between the two as they are so commonly switched on this sites videos. You're the one who wants to post like an erudite, elitist prick.
jng1226   May 7, 2014 05:34 PM
damp·ing [dam-ping] noun Physics. 1. a decreasing of the amplitude of an electrical or mechanical wave. 2. an energy-absorbing mechanism or resistance circuit causing this decrease. 3. a reduction in the amplitude of an oscillation or vibration as a result of energy being dissipated as heat. NOT damp·en [dam-puhn] verb (used with object) 1. to make damp; moisten: to dampen a sponge. 2. to dull or deaden; depress: to dampen one's spirits.